Updated September 12, 2010 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - If it retains its budget next year, the Technical Skills Development Authority (TESDA) is targeting to double the number of its employed graduates.                                 

TESDA director general Joel Villanueva said the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) initially agreed to reduce TESDA’s scholarship budget to P350 million for 2011 because of the low absorption level of TESDA scholars into the labor market.

President Aquino, however, ordered the reinstatement of the agency’s previous P700-million budget for the scholarship program.

Villanueva said Mr. Aquino’s intercession is not a guarantee that the old budget would be retained.

The DBM placed the absorption rate of Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP) scholars at only 28 percent from 2006 to 2008.

“On the short and immediate term, we will have to at least double the absorption level of TWSP graduates and in the long term, we will endeavor to place our TWSP graduates in the appropriate quality and wage level jobs,” said Villanueva.     

 He said the agency would redesign its scholarship guidelines to improve the selection of scholars.

“We will aim to reach the grassroots, and empower those already reached,” Villanueva said.